Queensland Home Warranty Scheme Charging your clients more, for less? How the changes apply to Painting
Mental Badassery! and the stories we tell ourselves
How much do Tradies really earn? See which trades are making the most
Getting your business holiday ready! Happiest of holidays from our team to you!
EDITOR Nigel Gorman EXECUTIVE EDITOR Caroline Miall CONTRIBUTORS • Caroline Miall • Christine Delongte • Jim Baker • Leo Babauta • Monroe Porter • Nigel Gorman • Patrick Hill • Robert Bauman • Sandra Price
GRAPHIC DESIGNER J Anne Delgado
From the Editor Hi Everyone, It has been an exciting month to round up the year. We’ve been advocating strongly for the industry with Government Ministers regarding recent and sudden changes implemented, that profoundly affect painting businesses. Having met with the Shadow Minister recently, later this week we meet with the Minister responsible to discuss the changes to the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme in Qld. Inside this edition, we share information to clarify the new obligations expected and rest assured we will be addressing all of the issues that the changes have raised so far; In the coming days and months there will be plenty more discussion. It was with honour that we attended the Construction Skills Qld Awards last week, as finalises for Innovation in Training with the Painters Training Wheels. Congratulations to Construction Training Centre on winning the Innovation in Training Award for their Hot Leasing Initiative. We would like to announce that Dulux and Rokset are new Sponsors for the next 12 months of the Painters Training Wheels. The Painters Training Wheels has clocked up some kilometres this year with it traveling as far north as Bundaberg, as far west as Toowoomba and just this month embarked on an interstate journey with it going to Lismore to train apprentices in NSW. This will be occurring more often as employers see the benefits of the online and onsite training model we are using. Most units of competency have been trained utilising the Painters Training Wheels over the last 12 months and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better year traveling around visiting employers and apprentices. I would like to finish off wishing everyone has a safe and HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND FANTASTIC NEW YEAR. Remember if you need anything, Aussie Painters Network are here to assist.
See you next year!!
07 3555 8010
Contents 3-Steps to get ready for The Holidays Do you know your Business Strengths and Weaknesses? MENTAL BADASSERY:
Combating the World of All Fluff and No Stuff
Painting Tips for the Kids’ Room:
How to Create a Happy Living Space for Your Children
Becoming Aware of the Stories We Tell Ourselves
HOW MUCH Do Tradies Really Earn?
How to avoid an UNFAIR DISMISSAL
BUSINESS AWARDS The Benefits of Entering
32 NEW SPONSORS supporting us in the Painters Training Wheels!
Changes to Queensland Home Warranty Scheme:
HOW THE CHANGES APPLY TO PAINTING Kids craft… FAIL!
Opinions and viewpoints expressed in the Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine do not necessarily represent those of the editor, staff or publisher or any Aussie Painters Network’s staff or related parties. The publisher, Aussie Painters Network and Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine personnel are not liable for any mistake, misprint or omission. Information contained in the Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine is intended to inform and illustrate and should not be taken as financial, legal or accounting advice. You should seek professional advice before making business related decisions. We are not liable for any losses you may incur directly or indirectly as a result of reading Aussie Painting Contractor Magazine. Reproduction of any material or contents of the magazine without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.
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6 | Aussie Painters Network
3-Steps to get ready for
Christmas will soon be here! Is your business holiday-ready?
take time off during the shutdown even though they may not have accrued sufficient leave.
Christmas time is a challenging time for most business owners. There are lots of events, promotions, bonuses and gifts to prepare and organise. Here are three steps to help you prepare for the “silly” season and save yourself some stress.
Here are some options for new employees:
Step 1 – Staff Take time now to look at your staffing requirements and what pay your employees are entitled to. As the business owner, there are obligations you must comply with in relation to holiday pay, bonuses and entitlements of your employees. Take time to prepare and calculate your employees holiday pay before you get caught up with the busy season.
Here are some important reminders about the upcoming Christmas season: 1. There are five public holidays for this Christmas period • • • • •
Sunday 25 December – Christmas Day Monday 26 December – Boxing Day Tuesday 27 December – Christmas Day (in lieu) Sunday 1 January – New Year’s Day Monday 2 January – New Year’s Day Holiday
2. If your business closes over the Christmas period, new employees are also required to
• Allow them take paid annual leave in advance (you both have to agree to this and have it in writing) • Allow them to take unpaid leave. • Don’t forget to allow for paid public holidays if these falls on a day they usually work. Step 2 – Prepare early for events and parties Unforgettable company events don’t just happen. They take planning and preparations. Make a checklist of all the nitty gritty details so you don’t forget anything or make costly decisions. Always remember the purpose of the event, budget and your goals. Step 3 – Remind your clients and suppliers of your office Christmas closedown period Whether you close your business this holiday season or keep trading, make sure you tell your clients. Send them an email, post an announcement in social media and include it in your newsletter. If your business is such that you need to work through the Christmas season, make sure you have staff to cover the work.
Sandra Price www.pbks.com.au 2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 7
Do you know your
BUSINESS’ STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
From time to time, companies and organisations undertake a SWOT analysis, where managers and staff look at what Strengths & Weaknesses the business has, and what Opportunities & Threats the business is facing in the current business environment. I highly recommend this process to SME business owners to identify their business’ internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats. So let’s have a look at what it means a bit more closely. Strengths. This is all about what your business is doing better than others and what factors translate into your competitive advantage, ie why is it that YOU get the sale and not your competitor. Your strengths may include things like access to your target market, your systems and processes, your staff and culture, etc. Look at your strengths from both an internal perspective, and from the point of view of your customers and people in your market. WEAKNESSES. Take a good look at what you could do better and what you should avoid doing. Think about why you might not have made the sale that you really thought would be a done deal and be honest with yourself during this reflection. It’s worth asking questions outside of your business environment, too, and
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even asking your customers. Talk to people in your own industry and see if you can find out what price they are charging for the same service or job. OPPORTUNITIES. To spot new opportunities you need to stay in touch with what’s going on in your industry. Are there new market players or new technologies that could open up new opportunities? Are there any events or conferences that are relevant for your business, that you could attend to increase your network? Could changes in government policy, or changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle, and so on result in opening up new opportunities? You can also examine whether your Strengths can open up new opportunities, and conversely, whether you can do so by eliminating your Weaknesses.
The Queensland Government, through its Business and Industry Portal, provides a range of resources you can tap into to do your market research or find new opportunities. Another way of finding out about new opportunities is by jumping online and finding information about businesses similar to yours in another country, then talk to them and build a relationship. I have found that, when you’re not directly in competition with each other, people are quite happy to talk about business issues that you’re both facing. THREATS. If you haven’t joined, sign up and become a member of industry associations relevant to your company and read their publications. Continue on page 11..
Do you have an apprentice? What does your apprentice do on rained out days, or down-time between jobs when youâ€™re paying them?
2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 9
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Like with opportunities, you’ll need to know what’s going on in your industry to understand the threats and obstacles your business is facing. Ask yourself what’s stopping your business from growing your market share. Find out what your competitors are doing, including their pricing. If you have debts or cash flow problems, make sure you address these, as this could seriously threaten the survival of your business in a tight market. Finally, ask yourself, if any of your identified weaknesses could develop into a serious threat to your business.
You can use the SWOT analysis as a serious tool or a casual “warm up” for strategy formulation. If you want to do it rigorously, you’ll need to make sure that you: • Only accept precise, verifiable statements. • Ruthlessly prune long lists of factors, and prioritize them so that you spend your time thinking about the most significant factors.
• Ensure that the options you develop are included at a later stage of your strategy formation process. • Apply it at the right level – for example, you might need to apply the tool at a product or productline level, rather than at the much vaguer whole company level. • Use it in conjunction with other strategy tools, eg Unique Selling Position (USP) Analysis, so that you get a comprehensive picture of the situation you’re dealing with.
If you have any questions on the best way to conduct a SWOT analysis for your business, feel free to arrange a FREE No-Obligation Meeting with me. Just visit our new website at www.straighttalkat.com.au and complete your details on our Home page to request an appointment. ----------------------------------------------Copyright © 2016 Robert Bauman
Call Us: (07) 3399 8844
2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 11
Becoming Aware of the Stories We Tell Ourselves There’s a hidden mechanism that creates unhappiness, difficulty changing habits, relationship problems, frustration, anger and disappointment. Barely anyone is aware of this hidden mechanism, even though it’s happening all the time, in all of us. It’s the stories we tell ourselves. We do it all day long: we tell ourselves a story about what’s happening in our lives, about other people, about ourselves. When I call them “stories” … that doesn’t mean they’re false, or that they aren’t based on the truth. It just means we’ve constructed a narrative based on our experiences, a perspective on the world around us, an interpretation of facts as we see them. Not false, but not necessarily the entire truth — just one perspective. A different person could look at the same situation and tell a very different situation.
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A few examples: 1. You might have a story about how your boss is very supportive and praises you a lot, which means you are doing a good job and like your work environment, and this story makes you happy. Another person might look at the same situation and tell a story about how the work area is messy and people are always interrupting him and he’s tired and the clients are rude and smelly. 2. You might be upset with your spouse because she was rude to you or didn’t clean up her messes for the last few days. Another person might have the same experience but tell themselves a story about how his spouse has been working hard at her job, has gone out of her way to cook a nice meal for you, and is tired and needs some comforting.
3. You might have a story about how you keep procrastinating, keep failing at being disciplined, never stick to a workout routine. Another perspective might be that you have gotten some great things done despite getting distracted, you’ve been passionate about learning something and that’s taken a priority over work tasks you’re dreading, and you are tired and need some rest before you can tackle exercise with vigor. Each of these examples have very different stories about the same situations — it’s about which details you pay attention to, and how you shape the narrative of those details. Now, telling ourselves stories is natural — we all do it, all the time. There’s nothing wrong with it. But if we’re not aware of the stories we tell ourselves, we can’t understand how they shape our happiness, relationships, moods, and more.
Becoming Aware of Your Stories Throughout the day, you’re telling yourself stories about what’s going on, about how wrong other people are to do what they do, about how good or bad you are at things. My challenge to you is to start to notice what you’re telling yourself about everything. It’s important to be aware of what those stories are, and how they’re affecting your happiness. If a story is making you happy, and you’re aware of that, then great! If you’re not aware of it, it’s not such a big problem if it’s making you happy, but what happens if the story starts to make you unhappy with your life? Then if you’re not aware, you have difficulties. So start to become aware of your stories, good and bad. Notice them throughout the day. Notice when you’re getting stuck in the story, spinning it around and around in your head. So and so shouldn’t have done this, and on and on, making you frustrated and unhappy with the person.
When we get hooked on a story, it’s hard to break away from it. But becoming aware of being hooked is the most important step.
What We Can Do So what can we do if we’re hooked on a story? It can be very difficult to break out of that trap. I know, because it happens to me all the time — I see the story I’m telling myself, but it seems so solid and real that I can’t just let it go.
sensations in your body. Notice that you’re caught up. But don’t act, just stay with your awareness. There is another way of being: where you don’t cling to the stories but instead drop below them, and are just aware of the moment as it is, without interpretations, judgements, preconceptions. Stories will still come up, but you can notice them and not get caught up. Or if you do get caught up, notice that and don’t hold so tightly to it, coming back to the present moment.
The first thing you can do is regard it as a dream. That doesn’t mean it’s false, it just means it’s not so solid. It’s something you’re playing out in your head, just like a dream, with very real emotional results. See it as a dream, not solid, and see if you can come out of the dream to the physical reality of the world around you in this moment. What sensations are happening right now, as opposed to in this dream?
However, this is a pretty advanced skill, and most of us can’t stay in this mode of being for very long. For now, just focus on awareness of your story, regarding it as a dream, and not acting on the story as much as we normally do.
The next thing you can do is not act on the story. Even if you’re caught up in it, that doesn’t mean you have to lash out at someone, or run away to distraction or comfort. Just sit with the story, notice how it’s making you feel, notice the physical
, a successful ‘simplicity’ blogger and author from California, the creator of top 25 Blog, Zen Habits
In this way, you’ll be less caught up in whatever is causing unhappiness and frustration, and more present in the current moment.
www.zenhabits.net 2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 13
Insurance for painters... Are you covered?
The security for this product is placed via Lloyds of London as well as other Australian authorised insurers. 14 | Aussie Painters Network
Do Tradies Really Earn? We’re very pleased to release our 2016 report on how much Australian tradies earn.
The Top 10 Earning Trades
There is always plenty of talk about the subject, and our previous reports have proven to be very popular.
Our biggest finding this year was that the gaps between the top ten trades narrowed significantly.
Here at Trade Risk we are very privileged to see the income figures of thousands of tradies every year, and this is what enables us to put together this report.
In previous years this chart featured quite a slope from the highest to lowest earning trades, but this year it is significantly flatter.
The report covers a wide range of trades from all corners of Australia.
Boilermakers lost their place at the top of the list for the first time in our report’s history. They were replaced by electricians, who jumped up from second position.
As always there were a small number of trades and occupations that could have featured in the top ten, however the number of entries were considered too low to be statistically accurate.
The big surprise was seeing the plumbers drop down the list from third to sixth, behind bricklayers, tilers and plasterers.
These included air conditioning contractors, concreters, earthmovers, riggers, scaffolders and stonemasons.
We’ll look at the average incomes for the top 10 trades, and we’ll also look at how they’ve changed from previous years. Who are the big winners in 2016? Read on to find out…
Do we really think plumbers are earning less than the three trades in front? It seems unlikely, but we’ve checked the figures and that’s what we have. It’s worth noting that the reason for the drop is not because plumbers are earning less than previously, but simply because the other trades had larger increases in their average income.
2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 15
Comparison to the national average Our figures show that the average income for a tradie is $76,800. That’s up from $70,500 in our last report and $68,900 prior to that. The national average income in Australia, according to the ABS, is $78,900. It’s important to remember that our figures include tradies who are predominantly sole traders and subcontractors, whereas the national average from the ABS will include all sorts of outrageously paid people. For that reason, just because the tradie average is below the national average, it does not mean that a typical tradie earns less than a typical non-tradie.
Overall income bands Another interesting metric to look at is how many tradies fall into the different income bands.
As with last year we found that the largest group, making up around 41% of tradies, sits in the $50k to $75k range. The good news is that the lowest range, up to $50k income, shrunk from 27% to 18%.
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The $50k to $75k range expanded slightly from 40% to 41%, and the $75k to $100k range expanded strongly from 27% to 32%. Ultimately this means that more tradies are earning $50k+ and $75k+ than last year, which is a good thing. A lucky (or should that be hard working) 9% of tradies made it into six figures. Keep in mind that these numbers relate to personal income, or basically the profit of the business. If you still have $100k after paying all of your business expenses you’re doing well!
Conclusion If you want to earn more than the national average, most of the trades in our top ten list will get you there. Although the bottom few trades in the top ten have average incomes lower than the national average, it’s important to point out that plenty of those tradies are still doing very well for themselves. For example although carpenters have an average income lower than the national average, our figures included plenty of chippies with incomes over $100k. By the same token, the figures also included dozens of electricians and plumbers with income below the national average.
The takeaway here is that although some trades do have higher incomes on average, any tradie can earn a great income if they work hard enough and smart enough. Want to see the previous reports?
Important information about the figures When looking at these figures it’s important to get some background on where they’ve come from. The typical tradesman client of Trade Risk is a subcontractor or sole trader, often working on their own or with just a few staff. Whilst there will be some clients running large teams and earning very strong six figure incomes, these are certainly not the norm. It’s important to note that the figures are based on personal income declared for income protection. So the figures are based on profit, not turnover. Some tradies may say they ‘earn’ $100k, but if their business expenses are $25k a year then the figure we take is $75k. We don’t claim that our figures are 100% accurate and reflect every tradesman across every industry. But what we can say is that the figures have come from over 2,000 tradies from all states and territories, and based on previous years they appear to be quite consistent across the years. https://www.traderisk.com.au/how-muchdo-tradies-earn
My Hourly Rate Calculator
www.mytools4business.com 2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 17
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Combating the World of
All Fluff and No Stuff I don’t spend a lot of time on social media but I do use it to communicate with family, friends, and high school buddies etc. Recently, I saw a “who you might know” photo from an old client come up. This guy always struggled to make a living as a contractor and after a few years, he just gave it up. Curious as to how he is doing now, I clicked to see. Well, he is a sales trainer and motivational speaker. I laughed so loud I almost fell out of my chair. Here is a guy who couldn’t keep 3 people employed to make a living but now is an expert.
good job of emphasizing past jobs and longevity in the marketplace. Don’t just take a photo of job you recently completed; show a 7 year old job that still looks good. When talking to customers about product, emphasize different parts of your job that ensures it will last a long time. For example, caulking might be a small part of the overall project but you can easily explain to the customer the difference between a caulk that might fail in two years and one that is guaranteed for 25 years.
For years, someone with a pick-up truck, ladder and shovel can be a contractor. Now with an 8 by 10 glossy and some slick verbiage, you are an internet authority. While social media and a web presence is a must, just because someone has an online profile doesn’t mean they are a real contractor.
Don’t just list a few customers with quotes. If you have been in business for 10 years and 50 houses a year, show a small print list of the 500 addresses you have painted. If you work a lot in the same neighborhoods, shows dots on a map that emphasizes your density. Emphasize trade associations you are members of and any manufacturer certifications you might have.
One of the real difficulties with social media is that it measures customer service but it does not do a good job of measuring the quality of long term craftsmanship. A clean cut person can show up at your door, be courteous and prompt but two years later the project fails. If you go to a restaurant and have a nice meal, you can rate that restaurant on line for instant satisfaction. That meal does not make you sick two years from now when it fails. One way to combat the all fluff and no stuff contractors is to do a
If you are going to play the social media game, have a process where you encourage your customers to post something about your business. It is all about the law of averages. The more the merrier. Many contractors are great public citizens but do a poor job of promoting their generosity. The next time you help a charity or do some type of public event, send a press release to the media. You can also
take some photos of your effort and post them to your webpage or email past customers. Too many contractors act as invisible forces within their community. Many go to work before the sun comes up and get home after dark. Except for customers, no one knows who they are. Consider joining Rotary, Lions or other business community groups. Be a real and tangible force in your community. All fluff and no stuff can also be an issue when hiring employees. Sometimes, employee who gives the best interview and has the prettiest resume is not the best fit. Be willing to investigate potential hires. If an employee looks too good to be true, they probably are: • During the interview process ask questions that force the person to think in talk. “Tell me about the first job you worked.” “What did you like and dislike about your last job.” “When I call your former employer, what do you think they might say?” I asked an interviewee this once and her reply was “Well, what happened is really not normal. When my husband came to work with a gun, he had not been taking his meds.”
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• Check all employee references to make sure they are real. If I was in prison for embezzlement or drugs, I would probably fake my resume. • Look on line and see what you can find out about the applicant. I had someone apply to a job but when I looked on line, they were falling down drunk in almost every Facebook post. • Perform some type of skill testing. For the office, give them an old fashion typing test. For field people, watch them perform some type of skill. Don’t just listen to what employee has to say or presents, see what they can do. In some cases, consider hiring them for a day or two to see how it goes. Do everything you can to judge that person on facts. Fighting all fluff from when buying from vendors can also be worthwhile. Finding good salespeople with something to offer and companies that have a unique buying proposition can be really tough. There are a couple of strategies that can be very entertaining and
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financially successful. First, when someone calls on you, be nice and listen. Then tell them to send you an email with specific things they can do for you other than offer a lower price. Let them know that on time delivery and inventory does not count. They are supposed to be on time. They are supposed to have the product they sell you in stock. You want to know specific dollars and cents facts on how they are a better buy. Another amusing exercise is to bring in your largest supplier reps. Tell them you love their company and price. Curiously, ask them how big a typical rep’s territory size is and their average annual sales volume. Next, say that is what you thought. Now do some calculations on how much volume your business represents. If the average territory is 5m and you do 500,000, you represent 10% of that reps volume. Are you getting 10% of that rep’s time or value? A reps cost may be 1-4% of the cost of what you buy. Tell the rep you need more value or you would rather not have a sales rep and would like to become
a house account. Ask the rep to come back to you with specific things he or she can do to bring more value. Don’t be surprised if all they can do is give you a couple of percentage point discounts. You see reps do have value. They are an opportunity to gain a lower price. You can’t negotiate with the internet or with a product on a store shelf. The reality is if that rep can’t deliver value, they are just another added cost of doing business or a way to lower your price. When I was a child, I found Winnie the Pooh was stuffed with fluff but offered much wisdom and stuff. Oh my, where is Winnie when you need him? ----------------------------------------------
is president of PROOF Management a firm that teaches seminars and runs networking groups for painting contractors. Several Aussie painting contractors travel to the US each year to participate in his programs.
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How to avoid an
In the 2015-2016 financial year there were 14,694 unfair dismissal applications filed with the Fair Work Commission by employees claiming they had been unfairly dismissed from their employment. It has been described as the ‘unofficial tax’ on business with a majority of matters ending in ‘goaway’ money being paid by employers for employees to discontinue their unfair dismissal claim. Example situation You have an employee. Let’s call him Bob. Now Bob isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but has a good heart, has been with you for a number of years and plans to work with your business until he retires. Unfortunately, Bob has painted a house purple instead of white. To make matters worse, this is not the first time Bob has painted a house the wrong colour. You realise this is going to cost you a bucket-load of money, time and hassle. You get frustrated and sack Bob on-the-spot. Is that fair? What makes a termination unfair?
person’s capacity or conduct (including its effect on the safety and welfare of other employees); and (b) whether the person was notified of that reason; and (c) whether the person was given an opportunity to respond to any reason related to the capacity or conduct of the person; and (d) any unreasonable refusal by the employer to allow the person to have a support person present to assist at any discussions relating to dismissal; and (e) if the dismissal related to unsatisfactory performance by the person--whether the person had been warned about that unsatisfactory performance before the dismissal; and (f) the degree to which the size of the employer’s enterprise would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the dismissal; and (g) the degree to which the absence of dedicated human resource management specialists or expertise in the enterprise would be likely to impact on the procedures followed in effecting the dismissal; and (h) any other matters that the FWC considers relevant.
The underlying principle is that there must be a ‘fair-go-all-round’. The Fair Work Act stipulates a number of considerations to support the ‘fair-go-all-round’ concept.
Where do most Employers go wrong?
They are: (a) whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal related to the
Procedural fairness is where most employers go wrong (it is noted at subclause (c) & (e) above). Even if
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you catch an employee thieving or under the influence on-site, dismissing them without giving procedural fairness can render a dismissal unfair. If you catch someone doing something wrong, you must give them a chance to explain why they did whatever it is they are accused of doing. Take the example situation. There was no opportunity for Bob to respond to the issue or give his explanation of why he painted the house purple. What if the client had told Bob to paint the house purple? Would that change your decision to terminate? Would you make an alternative decision such as give Bob a warning? A failure to give an opportunity to respond may or may not change your final decision but you have to give such an opportunity and take note of the response. Warnings You may have heard of the 3 strikes policy whereby an employee must receive 3 warnings before being terminated. There is no legislative requirement specifying that an employee must be given a certain number of written warnings before being dismissed for poor performance. For example, there is no rule that an employee must receive three written warnings.
If you are dismissing an employee for unsatisfactory performance, they must have been previously warned about such performance issues. The purpose behind this is that an employee must be given the opportunity to improve on their performance. Industrial tribunals over the years have consistently upheld unfair dismissal claims where an employee has not had an opportunity to respond to performance concerns or to improve their performance over a reasonable period of time. A warning must make it clear that the employee’s employment is at risk unless performance improves. A warning does not have to be in writing but it is best practise that you do put it in writing or at the very least make a note of what you discussed with your employee. The example situation notes that Bob may have painted a house the wrong colour before. If Bob received a warning that if this were to happen again his employment would be at risk, then it is correct as he has been warned and given an opportunity to improve his performance.
tion will be taken into consideration. This includes such matters as whether a dismissal is proportionate to the alleged offence, the length of service of an employee with the business, the age of the employee (as it effects their re-employment opportunities) and other matters particular to the situation.
3. If the employer is a small business (meaning less than 15 employees) and followed the small business dismissal code, then an employee is not able to claim unfair dismissal. The small business dismissal code is available here: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ending-employment/ unfair-dismissal 4. Employees must have served a specified minimum period. If it is a small business (less than 15 employees) the period is 12 months; if the business has more than 15 employees, then it is 6 months.
Are there any exemptions for employees claiming unfair dismissal? Yes, the Fair Work Act specifies that certain employees are not covered by the unfair dismissal regime. It is what is referred to as a ‘jurisdictional objection’.
Is there anything else I should consider?
1. An employee that is not covered by a Modern Award or an Enterprise Agreement and earns over $138,900 (as at 1 July 2016) cannot lodge an unfair dismissal claim.
Yes. The concept of the ‘fair-go-allround’ is a non-exhaustive meaning where most aspects of a termina-
2. If there was a genuine redundancy an employee cannot claim an unfair dismissal.
Unfair dismissal claims by former employees are a common feature. The barriers to claiming an unfair dismissal is minimal. It pays to take a bit of time before terminating an employee, make sure you mitigate against any potential future liability.
Patrick Hill is an industrial relations
consultant at IRIQ Pty Ltd. To see the services IRIQ can provide visit our website. Note: This article is general information only and should not be taken as legal advice. DISCLAIMER: Unfair dismissals are a
complex part of Employment Law. If you have any questions, concerns or doubts, please ensure you seek Professional Advice before finalising termination.
www.iriq.com.au 2016 Dec - 2017 Jan Issue | 23
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Painting Tips for the Kids’ Room:
How to Create a Happy Living Space for Your Children
Your children are an important part of your soul and life. If you want to do something for them, you can start with painting their room. Remember that beautifying a kids’ room doesn’t mean painting the walls with blue or pink colours. It involves creating a happy living space for your children after considering their preferences and your budget. You must consider a few things before embarking on the journey of adding colours to the kids’ room.
· One Room; Many Functions
A kids’ room is much more than a
bedroom. Your children will spend a large amount of time in their room playing as well as studying. So, whenever you think of undertaking a painting job for the kids’ room, it is essential to keep in mind the multiple functions of the room. Choose colours and patterns in such a way that it offers comfort to your loved ones for years to come.
· Your Children: Your Inspiration
A boy’s room doesn’t have to be blue. You can select various colours such as beige, gray, orange, green, etc. When it comes to choosing the
base colour for the kids’ room, ask your children. You can take inspiration from their preferences. For example, if your daughter loves the movie “The Lion King”, you can incorporate the shades of the forest in the room. You can paint her favourite characters on the wall and customize her room efficiently. If your son loves to draw, you can use blackboard paint and create a play area for him. Alternatively, you can create a sports theme if you have a sports fan in your home.
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Changing Needs of your Children
Children grow quickly. And, their needs change rapidly. So, do not make painting decision by considering their current needs only. Instead, focus on their future requirements as well. One way of a cost-effective painting job is a feature wall. If your children love boats and ships, you can develop a nautical theme for the feature wall. And, once your children outgrow their admiration for the theme, you can repaint the feature wall without spending money on other walls of the room.
Choose many; not One
A kidsâ€™ room should never be dull and boring. Choosing a single colour for the entire room makes it insipid and lifeless. Instead, focus on creating a living space that is filled with different colours. Choose a colour palette of three different colours - one colour for the walls and the other two for molding and accents. You can add texture to the walls and make it lively. Also, do not forget to experiment different colour palettes with the help of wallpapers, decals, wall-hangings, bedspreads, furniture, etc.
Choose Paints suitable for Children
If you have hired a painting contractor to do the painting job for you, make sure that he uses paints free from volatile organic compounds (VOC). Using eco-friendly paints will not affect the health of your children and give you peace of mind. If any of your children have allergies, it is vital for you to choose zero VOC paints or milk-based paints. It is because they will not release odour and keep your children safe from problems such as headache, nausea, difficulty in breathing, etc. Also, do not forget to opt for low maintenance paints such as semi-gloss paints or satin paints. Choosing a stain-resistant paint will help you to clean fingerprints, crayon doodles, ink stains, food splatters, etc. from the walls easily. When it comes to painting a kidsâ€™ room, remember that it should reflect your childrenâ€™s personalities and choices. So, spend time with your children in making painting decisions and create a happy, practical and comfortable living space for your little ones.
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Find out if the things around you are SAFE for humans and pets
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We are Painters working with Painters to improve the industry. You receive information designed to assist in advancing your business practices and maintaining a high degree of professionalism. We keep painting businesses up to date on the latest government legislative changes whilst assisting you in running your business with tips and tricks to
SAVE YOU MONEY!
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Business Awards The Benefits of Entering Many people do not realise the value of submitting an entry in an awards event. All too frequently business owners are so overwhelmed with the day-to-day running of their company, they do not get a chance to look outside the box. But from a business perspective, it does make very good sense and comes with a range of potential advantages. Entering awards gives you a new perspective on your business and can identify your strength and weaknesses that you would not normally recognise. The process can also show you the areas required for improvement when comparing yourself to the competition. The application process in most cases though can be time consuming and quite challenging. If you find you canâ€™t answer the questions sufficiently or have inadequate support documents, use it as inspiration to do better in your next submission. You will find youâ€™ll be more prepared and entering will be less stressful. The judging process meanwhile, can be thought of as a benchmark-
ing process. Judges will consider your application in comparison with other companies and depending on the nature of the awards that you have entered, the companies are likely to be of a similar size and in a similar field. What they look for in a submission is innovation, growth, diversity, strategic thinking and the focus you have on your customers. Winning of course also brings its own advantages, as reputable business awards can generate significant amounts of publicity which can have a direct and dramatic impact on your business. Just as importantly, winning a business award can be a powerful way of differentiating you from your competitors. It can improve your brand awareness, boost employee motivation and provide a real competitive advantage when seeking or retaining customers. You may even find it easier to attract high quality staff as a result of your success. While winning is your main goal, there are still benefits of entering business awards even if your com-
pany just makes the finalist round. You should be proud of this achievement and promote it to the fullest.
THE BENEFITS Marketing & PR
Awards celebrate hard work and success and it is a great opportunity to put your business in the spotlight and have your achievements acknowledged. If you include them in your promotional flyers, website and stationary material, customers will be impressed that you have been recognised by an independent panel of respected business leaders. It will give your company an increased creditability when speaking to new customers and provide that competitive advantage over your rivals. For example, if a customer receives three quotes and are all offering the same as yourself, they will inevitably choose you over another company because of the recognition you have been rewarded for.
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Being associated with a business awards event can provide great PR opportunities during the pre-event promotion and after the event. Make sure you contact your local newspaper about it as they love this type of news item.
A chance to reflect on your business
The application process for entering business awards represents a great opportunity to review and take stock of your business. Applying for an award is also a good opportunity to practice your selling skills as you will need to make sure you stand out from the competition in your specific category. As well as reviewing the past and present activities, an application process will also give you the opportunity to think about the future direction of the business and set goals to be achieved. You should also use the entry process as a business health check. By forcing you to compare yourself to your competitors, it will show how your business is going and help you to identify the areas where you need to develop a better way of doing things.
Building team morale
Succeeding in business requires a team effort and picking up an award gives recognition to your staffs’ contribution to the businesses success. This is invaluable in terms of boosting morale and making employees feel proud of the company and their contribution. Involving your staff with the submission will create a positive work environment and help them to see ways to improve themselves and feel positive. If you are shortlisted, taking your team to the awards ceremony is
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also a great way of celebrating your achievements as a team, and will also provide excellent networking opportunities.
Get to meet people that can influence you
You can meet some incredible people at business awards. Government officials, heads of major corporations, celebrities and of course, people like yourself. Functions like these are always in a relaxed atmosphere where you can network and swap ideas. Take your best clients or supporters of your business (bank manager maybe!) This is where you can invite the people that have helped your business through the previous year (or years). Treating them out to a fancy function with dinner, wine and entertainment, will be highly appreciated and will stay in their minds and talked about long after the event. They will see the effort you have put into your business and will value your success in being a Finalist, or hopefully a Winner and continue to support you in the future.
Write it off as a tax deduction
I have been entering awards since 2002 and it’s taken me to many cities around Australia. The best thing is, I can claim all the expenses through my business. It’s a great excuse to get away for a few days and wind down from the hassle of work. My wife and I treat ourselves to staying at luxury hotels and it also gives her an excuse to buy a new outfit. Deciding which business award to enter is a matter of weighing up
the time an entry will take against the potential gain in terms of how reputable the organisation running the award program is and how much publicity it will generate for your business. Look at the websites for local councils, chambers of commerce, construction and trade awards and the large companies that sponsor these events like Telstra, Optus and some of the financial institutes. Entering a small-business award usually involves nominating yourself on the awarding body’s website, so don’t be afraid to do so. Awards I have participated in look impressive on my website and LinkedIn profile: • Dulux Accredited Painter of the Year Finalist 2004 • Dulux Accredited Painter of the Year Winner (Qld) 2006 • Optus MyBusiness Award Finalist 2008 • Telstra Business Award Finalist (Qld) 2011 • Dulux Accredited Business Professional Finalist 2011 • Construction Apprenticeship Mentoring Scheme Mentor 2014 • Construction Skills Queensland Professional of the Year Finalist 2014 • Optus MyBusiness Award Finalist 2016 Nominations are usually towards the beginning of the year, so start putting something together about your business now in readiness of the submission process. If you need any advice, just drop me a line.
Trace MY Business Written and Developed by Jim Baker
Trace My Business will keep a record of ALL your clients. It collects the basic information like their contact details, job description and client notes but the beauty of this program is that it also tracks
Where the referral came from
The quote success and failure rates
The diﬀerent advertising campaigns (what works and what doesn’t)
First projects vs repeat business
New vs existing revenue and projects
Yearly and overall client revenue
• Growth analysis •
Projects, who referred them, and the referrals they subsequently provided
This is a brand new online product and like my other programmes, it is accessible on any computer or smart phone just by using your email address and password. I am oﬀering this to you on a 30 day ‘Trial Before You Commit’ price of $1.00. After the trial period and you like the product, the cost on a monthly subscription will only be $14.50. So for the low cost of $14.50 a month, you will be able to access all your clients and where they found you, monitor what advertising campaigns are working and what are not, but best of all, have these records available to a new purchaser when you want to sell your business.
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Aussie Painters Network is pleased to announce that we have
NEW SPONSORS supporting us in the Painters Training Wheels!
Dulux and Rokset will now be instrumental in making it all possible, in our innovative new approach to training and mobility. We are very excited to be working with such industry leading partners and look forward to working closely together over the next 12 months. http://aussiepaintersnetwork.com.au/painters-training-wheels/
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Aussie App Store will develop a state of the art mobile app/website to grow your business using our integrated social networking applications.
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Changes to Queensland Home Warranty Scheme:
HOW THE CHANGES APPLY TO PAINTING
Aussie Painters Network has been inundated with calls and emails from painters desperate to find out how the changes will impact their businesses. You are being asked to pass on a cost to consumers that they know nothing about. Painters are reporting loss of jobs left right and centre, and worse, damage to their business’ reputation. With so little information provided by the government to inform professionals or consumers, we asked
the QBCC for more information…
We are pursuing this issue with the State and Shadow Ministers, so watch this space and let us know your thoughts.
What does this mean for licensed painters? It is important that you are aware of recent changes to the law concerning what is insurable building work and premiums for the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme (the Scheme). The Scheme is managed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). These changes will apply to contracts signed by both parties on or after 28 October, 2016. In general, everything previously insurable under the Home Warranty Scheme will continue to be insura-
ble, although the Scheme has been expanded to cover other types of building work. The Scheme now includes painting, both internal and external, of a residence or related roofed building (for example, a shed) that is over the value of $3,300 (GST inclusive). So, if you are carrying out painting work that fits this description and the contract value is over $3,300, you will be required to collect the appropriate insurance premium from the consumer and pay the premium on to the QBCC. We realise that as a licensed painter, you have probably not had to use the Scheme before.
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
• What about jobs that you have already provided quotes for? Any contract signed by both parties on or after 28 October, 2016, will be subject to the new provisions. So a premium will be payable (providing the work is over $3,300). If no contract has been signed yet, the contractor should liaise with the consumer and provide a new quote which factors in the premium pay-
able, if the contract is to be signed on or after 28 October, 2016. If the contract is only for painting and is signed by both parties prior to 28 October, no premium is payable. • What about contracts already in place? If the contract is only for painting, and is signed by both parties prior to 28 October, no premium is payable. • Does it apply to all types of painting? Yes, providing it is over $3,300 and is carried out by a licensed contractor, within the building envelope of a residence or related roofed building. When it comes to painting, the Scheme applies to the internal and external painting of residential buildings with up to three storeys of residential units. To clarify, a four storey unit block with the bottom level being a car park, and three levels of residential units, is covered. Government and public housing is also included in the Scheme, unless the work is performed by the State or local government.
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• Does it apply to new paint jobs and re-painting? Yes, it applies to both. • There is confusion about whether painting work is actually considered building work, as opposed to decorative work. What is actually to be included as part of the Scheme? Painting is building work within the definition of “building work” in the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (QBCC Act). • How is painting included in the new provisions? o The QBCC Act provides that a premium must be paid for residential construction work. o The term “residential construction work” includes primary insurable work. o The amendments to the legislation state that building work within the building envelope of a residence or related roofed building is primary insurable work (providing it is over $3,300 and carried out by a licensed contractor). The term “building envelope” is defined to mean the outermost sides of the building that separate the internal part of the building from the external environment. o So, if the house is painted (either internally or externally), and the value of the work is over $3,300, this is building work within the building envelope of a residence. o As such, this is primary insurable work which a premium must be paid. • What coverage is provided for painting? The Scheme covers consumers for loss suffered if a contractor (or an individual where fraud or certain representations are made) fails to
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complete a contract for residential work or fails to rectify defective work. The terms of cover, however, contain certain limitations and restrictions. This generally means that incomplete or defective painting work will be covered by the Scheme. The Scheme does not cover defective products, however. For example, a defective batch of paint resulting in peeling will not be covered, however, using the incorrect paint for an area resulting in peeling will be covered. Non-structural defects like painting are generally covered for six months after the day the work is completed. Consumers must lodge the claim with the QBCC within seven months of the completion date. • How are premiums calculated for units and multiple dwellings? If an individual unit owner of a multiple dwelling contracts with a painter to paint the internal walls of their unit, and the insurable value of the work is over $3,300, then the insurance premium is based on the value of that work. If the Body Corporate contracts with a painter to paint common property which is in or on the multiple dwelling, and the insurable value of the work is more than $20,000, then the value of the work must be divided by the number of units in the multiple dwelling, and the premium for each unit must be calculated on this amount. For example, if the insurable value is $25,000 and there are five units, the value of work for each unit is $5,000. The insurance premium for $5,000 would need to be calculated (by reference to the relevant premium table) and multiplied by five
to provide the total premium payable for this work. One premium is payable representing this total amount. If the Body Corporate contracts with a painter to paint common property, and the insurable value of the work is $20,000 or less, then the premium is based on this value. For example, if the insurable value is $18,000 and there are five units, the insurance premium would be based on the value of $18,000. • How do premiums apply for “do and charge” jobs? Previously the QBCC premium was calculated based on the contract price, or the value of the work. Now the premium is based on the insurable value of the work. The term “insurable value” is the amount which represents reasonable cost of having the work carried out by a licensed contractor on basis that all materials are to be supplied by the contractor – whether or not the work is carried out on this basis. A cost-plus contract (or a “do and charge job”) is a domestic building contract where the contractor cannot accurately calculate what the final price of the work would be when the contract is entered into, even if prime cost items and provisional sums are ignored. There would only be cause to use cost-plus contracts in extremely rare circumstances, otherwise contractors should be providing a fixed price contract to the consumer. There is a premium calculator on the website to assist contractors.
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The portable, inexpensive method to prevent paint waste-water polluting the environment.
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• When does the premium need to be paid? You will be required to collect the insurance premium from the consumer and pass the premium on to the QBCC before the first of the following occurs: • 10 business days elapse from the day the contract was entered into; or • The residential construction work starts. The premium payment must be made within 10 business days of the contract being signed, whether you received payment or not. Therefore, it would be a good idea to ensure the home owner pays you the premium on signing the contract. • How is it going to be policed? The legislation is clear – it is an offence not to pay a premium for work that requires it to be paid. If it comes to the attention of the QBCC that a premium should have been paid and was not, then the QBCC can take appropriate compliance action. • Is it going to cost painting contractors more money? The contractor will collect the premium from the consumer, and pay the premium to the QBCC. The premium should be factored into the total contract price, which is paid by the consumer. Ultimately, it is the consumer who will be paying the premium, since it is the consumer who gets the benefit of the insurance cover. There are premium tables available on the QBCC website. To find out the appropriate premium for a job, you can use the premium calculator on the QBCC website or call the QBCC on 139 333. All figures in the premium tables include GST. The contractor will be able to promote the fact that the work will be covered by the Scheme backed by the Queensland Government.
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Kids craft… Mummy fails are an integral part of being an excellent parent! By excellent of course, I mean average. As we mostly are. Sometimes pretty good, anyway.. um… For some years I’ve meant to have a go at making a seemingly simple craft project, to create an item to help soothe a child and promote a sense of calm. A meditation tool of sorts. That is… The calming glitter jar It’s that sense of calm that for the most part, has eluded my family.. mainly due to half of my family comprising of two energetic young boys who are constant adversaries as well as occasionally best friends and allies against their parents. These days I leave craft up to the professionals – at school. At home when they were younger it always ended in someone getting hysterical because they didn’t get to stir the something or other when they wanted to (or insert irrational desperate insistence on whatever you lik), ending in whining, shouting and occasional physical altercation between the boys.
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But I relented this time because I wanted to see If this jar would grab the attention of the 7-year-old, who is often unable to stop and focus. Plus, I thought they looked really cool.
Anyway, I obviously didn’t have the right portions of one of the ingredients: namely glitter glue. I had loads of glitter so thought it would be ok. Seemed simple enough but apparently I needed a truck load more glue as the glitter wasn’t hypnotically swirling around like it was supposed to. It was just kind of sadly clinging to the sides of the jar and not looking at all pacifying. More like something else I needed to clean. Speaking of something to clean, one of the jars I attempted to use decided it would no longer seal properly, resulting in food colouring and glitter from a-hole to breakfast. And all over me. (see pic lol). Making the necessary mess to transfer glitter based liquid into a new jar, and realising then that I didn’t have the required litres of
glitter glue, I thought maybe adding vegetable oil would have a similar effect … like a lava lamp sort of.
Wrong. Ok so for a second it helped and a moment of swirly reflection was possible… and then quickly separated into oil and water… as oil and water tend to do. So constant shaking was necessary. Again not so calming. Then the oil basically caused the new jars to leak everywhere as well. Each time they were shaken. Epic fail! Well, like with gifts, it’s the thought that counts hopefully. The two jars are now sitting on my kitchen window waiting for a moment when the children aren’t looking so I can dump contents in the garden. Perhaps I’ll decorate the pathway with it. Its nearly Christmas after all.
Calming Glitter Jar
! t i d e Nail
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Important Contacts Aussie Painters Network www.aussiepaintersnetwork.com.au
Ph. 0430 399 800
National Institute for Painting and Decorating www.painters.edu.au
Ph. 1300 319 790
Australian Tax Office www.ato.gov.au
Ph. 13 72 26 / Ph. 13 28 65
Award Rates www.fairwork.gov.au
Ph. 13 13 94
Fair Work Building & Construction www.fwbc.gov.au
Ph. 1800 003 338
Mates In Construction www.matesinconstruction.com.au
Ph. 1300 642 111
Workplace Health and Safety Contacts Comcare WorkSafe ACT Workplace Health and Safety QLD Victorian WorkCover Authority WorkCover NSW SafeWork SA WorkSafe WA NT WorkSafe WorkSafe Tasmania
www.comcare.gov.au www.worksafe.act.gov.au www.worksafe.qld.gov.au www.vwa.vic.gov.au www.workcover.nsw.gov.au www.safework.sa.gov.au www.commerce.wa.gov.au/WorkSafe/ www.worksafe.nt.gov.au www.worksafe.tas.gov.au
1300 366 979 02 6207 3000 1300 362 128 1800 136 089 13 10 50 1300 365 255 1300 307 877 1800 019 115 1300 366 322
www.actcancer.org www.cancercouncil.com.au www.cancercouncilnt.com.au www.cancerqld.org.au www.cancersa.org.au www.cancervic.org.au www.cancerwa.asn.au
(02) 6257 9999 (02) 9334 1900 (08) 8927 4888 (07) 3634 5100 (08) 8291 4111 (03) 9635 5000 (08) 9212 4333
Cancer Council Australia ACT NSW NT QLD SA VIC WA
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